Wednesday, September 15, 2021

First Look At Patrick Star's Gameplay Breakdown For Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

Not only does SpongeBob’s best friend Patrick Star have his own show now, but he’s also the star of the newest character breakdown for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. Game Informer has unveiled a spongeriffic first look at Patrick in action.

Patrick’s playstyle is unlike others we’ve seen from the cast so far. He’s the game’s equivalent to a grappler, with all his special attacks resulting in grabbing and slamming his opponents to the ground. Unleashing his neutral special allows for additional side-to-side slams (think what Hulk did to Loki in The Avengers) if you hammer on the button. Using Patrick’s up special, called “I Am Already A Star,” propels the shining starfish in whichever direction you’d like, giving the character some surprising mobility. As a bonus, if an opponent finds themselves in Patrick’s path during this move, they’ll be grabbed and tossed aside. Rounding out the special attacks is possibly Patrick’s most dangerous move, the down special “Hugdriver.” Patrick captures a character and jumps forward to deliver a devastating powerbomb. However, crafty players can use this move to careen both characters right off the stage for a strategic double KO.

Move over, Wario. Patrick Star may have you beat when it comes to butt-based attacks. One of Patrick’s light attacks is his “toot laser,” which, you guessed it, fires a beam of energy from his bottom. Like many of Patrick’s attacks, the range is short, so players will have to get up close. But what his moves lack in range, they make up for in enhanced knockback. Other moves like up strong “trophy hat” and down strong “NO, THIS IS PATRICK” are fun callbacks to classic Patrick moments from SpongeBob SquarePants.

Last but not least, we get a look at Patrick’s stage, The Flying Dutchman Ship. It’s a medium-sized asymmetric battlefield where the Flying Dutchman himself haunts the matches.

With his up close, brutish attacks and some fun, surprising moves, the superstar sea star savior looks like he’s going to be a fun combatant in Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. We don’t have to wait long to play it either. The game launches for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC on October 5.

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Q&A With Ludocity CEO Joel Nyström

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is shaping up to be an intriguing game for old and new fans of the slime-ridden television network. This multiplayer platform fighting game bringing together all kinds of characters from the Nickelodeon universe. Michelangelo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Invader Zim, Cat Dog, Lucy Loud, Nigel Thornberry, and the eclectic list goes on and on. Earlier today, we debuted a first look at Patrick Star's grapple-heavy moveset, and this week we had the opportunity to pick the brain of Joel Nyström, CEO of developer Ludosity.

How did the team decide which characters would be a good fit for the roster with decades-worth of Nickelodeon shows to choose from?

It was a joint effort between Ludosity and GameMill, where we all pushed for our own favorites and wants until we got to a lineup we could all get behind. From our side, we wanted fun characters from the shows we liked, which is why we have some more unlikely picks like Nigel Thornberry. 

Because it’s called “Nickelodeon” and not “Nicktoons,” can we expect any live-action Nickelodeon characters to show up? Will players see any All That characters or something from Are You Afraid of the Dark?

There are no live-action characters in our base lineup, and we are currently not looking at any for future characters either. You never know, but for now, we are focusing on cartoon characters. It fits in with the rest of the roster better, and we feel like we can go a little wilder in the moveset with them.

What goes into the decision of reviving characters like Powdered Toast Man?

He’s fun. Videogames are fun. It’s a great match. And he seems to have really registered with the fans based upon their reaction!

We’ve seen gameplay footage of a stage from the Avatar series. Who might we expect from the original series or The Legend of Korra to be part of the roster?

Hopefully, your favorite! All in due time.

What went into the decision to go with rollback net code for online play? Is online important to the team?

Online and competitive play is extremely important to us. We have rollback, and we also have a great lobby system, both for casual and ranked play. 

Which features or modes can players expect for multiplayer or online modes?

You can play in lobbies or Quick Match online. All modes are there, including Sports Ball, our own fun mode we’re bringing over from Slap City. It’s sports, with balls!

Fighting game fans seem to have taken notice of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl. Does the team see it as a competitive game?

Absolutely we do. 

Was competitive play something that factored into your plans for the game?

Yes, in fact, it was even heavily suggested from Nickelodeon before we even had a publisher for the game. It’s been there since day one.

How many characters are you planning for the initial release of All-Star Brawl, and what are your plans for DLC characters and stages down the line?  When might those show up post-launch?

At launch, there will be 20 characters, with 2 more following soon after. Additional DLC characters will be revealed after that. Stay tuned!

Many of the characters announced so far have iconic voices attached to them. Are the characters included voiced by the original actors? If so, who’s on board?

Our focus was on creating the best possible gameplay experience for core brawling fans and Nickelodeon fans around the globe. It is not as straightforward to do as one might think, and as we continue to build the Nick All-Star Brawl franchise, we will be reviewing all options, which may include adding VO down the road.

There’s an obvious comparison to be made to games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. How does Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl differentiate itself from other platform fighters?

It differs in many small ways. Please see our extensive gameplay walkthrough (Editor's note: watch the video below) we released a little while back. We’re aiming to make the controls a little easier to get into for new players – for example, turning is much easier in our game – while having the full depth of play the competitive scene wants. 

Will there be any fun references Nick fans may not expect? Can you give any hints as to how deep in the catalog you went for this game?

Every move is referenced from the shows, literally, everything in the game can be traced back to something from the Nickelodeon universe. We want the players to discover these for themselves!  It’s been awesome seeing fans find the connections from what they’ve seen so far, and we’re excited for them to get their hands on the game and uncover more.

Ren and Stimpy were just officially revealed. But are they separate characters, or do they work together in tandem?

Ren and Stimpy are indeed in the game, and they form a single duo character! We wanted a duo character because of the fun interaction between them - plus as a bonus, it leaves room for one more character in the base lineup =)

Did your team have any issues with Nickelodeon allowing certain characters for the game? 

Not at all. There were a small number of characters that had global licensing issues, but apart from those, Nickelodeon has been up for all our suggestions. They have been very supportive and enthusiastic in our collaboration with them. 

Does the team have an internal meta for character selection?

No, we all have different play styles, so we each gravitate towards different characters. I personally get my butt kicked no matter who I play as or against, though! 

We can’t wait to see where the meta goes and will be monitoring the balance closely. 

Will music from these beloved TV shows be used in the game?

The music is all new but, just like everything else, heavily referencing the source material. 

Do you have a confirmed release date you can share?

October 5th, baby!

And there you have it! All of the answers to my burning questions for the Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl team. As Joel Nyström confirmed in that last query, the platform fighter will be releasing on October 5 for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.


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